A Message from President DeGioia Regarding Rev. Kevin O’Brien, S.J. (C’88)

March 22, 2016

Dear Members of the Georgetown University Community:

It is with deep gratitude for his dedication to Georgetown that I write to share news about Rev. Kevin O’Brien, S.J. (C’88), who has served as our Vice President for Mission and Ministry since 2011. 

Earlier today, Santa Clara University President Rev. Michael E. Engh, S.J. named Kevin as the new Dean of the Jesuit School of Theology (JST) of Santa Clara University, effective August 1, 2016.  This announcement is the result of several months of discussions, initiated by Kevin’s religious superiors, who asked him to consider assuming leadership of this school—one of the most important institutions in Catholic theological studies and ministry.  The JST provides seven graduate-level degrees to over 170 students representing more than 40 countries—half of these students are Jesuits preparing for ordination or studying for higher degrees in theology. 

Kevin began his service at Georgetown in 2008 as the Executive Director of Campus Ministry.  In this role, he oversaw the ministry programs on our campuses and provided valuable guidance to students, faculty and staff.  As Vice President of Mission and Ministry, he has deepened this work, directing a range of mission-focused programs, seminars, retreats, and social justice immersion programs designed to strengthen our Catholic and Jesuit identity and serve the diverse religious needs of all members of our community.  In this role, he also directs our Department of Mission and Pastoral Care at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital.

Under Kevin’s leadership, the Office of Mission and Ministry has deepened partnerships with organizations across our campus—including Students Affairs, the Center for Social Justice Research, Teaching, and Service, and academic centers committed to interreligious understanding—and expanded its resources for our faculty and staff, enabling them to more fully engage in our Catholic and Jesuit tradition.  Kevin has also dedicated significant time to meeting with the members of our alumni and parent community around the world.

Kevin has animated the religious and interreligious life of our students in countless ways—serving as the Jesuit-in-Residence in Copley Hall, teaching a theology course each semester, and working closely with Rabbi Rachel Gartner, Rev. Bryant Oskvig, Imam Yahya Hendi, Fr. Gregory Schenden, S.J., V. Rev. Constantine White, Rev. Khristi Adams and others across our campuses to ensure that our students—and all members of our community—are supported in their faith traditions.  In his role as Vice President, he also helped to manage the construction of the Calcagnini Contemplative Center—our 55-acre retreat property in Virginia—and the renovation of Dahlgren Chapel, the spiritual heart of our campus.

Prior to his time at Georgetown, Kevin served as Associate Pastor at Holy Trinity Church in Washington, DC.  Kevin has also taught philosophy and ethics at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia and assisted in the Office of University Mission and Ministry at Fordham University.  Kevin holds a B.A. from Georgetown College, a J.D. from the University of Florida, an M.A. in Philosophy from Fordham University, and a Masters of Divinity and a Licentiate in Sacred Theology from the Weston Jesuit School of Theology.

I am deeply grateful to Kevin for his dedicated service and committed leadership in our community and I look forward to celebrating his many contributions to our University in the time ahead.  In the coming weeks, we will begin a search for Kevin’s successor.

Please join me in expressing our sincerest appreciation to Kevin and wishing him the very best as he prepares to begin in his new role at Santa Clara University.


John J. DeGioia